Users Express Confidence in SQL Server 2005 Performance

Some users dispute a recent research report that suggested that SQL Server 2005 would deliver disappointing results for scalability and performance.

SQL Server 2005 is performing just fine in at least one beta customers site, contrary to a recent report that expressed doubt as to the upcoming relational DBMS ability to do high-performance computing.

Jim Holt, vice president of server development for Townsend Analytics Ltd., said that data rates are "extremely high" in the real-time electronic trading companys deployment of the databases Beta 2.

"[Were processing] 50,000 transactions per second," said Holt, in Chicago. "Ive seen peaks of 100,000 messages per second."

Thats a performance gain of about 20 percent over early, pre-Beta 2 builds of the product, Holt said, measured on high-end but still commodity hardware.

In contrast, Forrester Research Inc.s recently published report, "SQL Server 2005 Likely to Fall Short in High-End Performance Delivery," found that a dozen beta users interviewed by the research company have cited no benefits when it comes to high-performance computing. That feedback, mixed with the lack of TPC-C results in the remaining few months before the databases summer release, led the company to opine that it expected SQL Server 2005 to deliver disappointing results when it comes to scalability and performance.

Some analysts, however, dont think it makes sense to compare the performance of SQL Server betas to shipping versions of IBM and Oracle Corp. databases, as did the Forrester report. Chris Alliegro, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, in Redmond, Wash., said that Microsofts SQL Server team in particular has been "pretty reliable" about shipping new versions that outperform their predecessors.

"Its not an accident—they come up with ship goals and criteria that require [a new version] to be faster than its predecessor," Alliegro said.


"I wouldnt be surprised to see Microsoft continuing to improve performance right up until they exit Beta 3…," Alliegro said. "I wouldnt suggest anybody make a go or no-go decision based on what they perceive as poor performance at this point."

Townsend Analytics Holt said that while performance is a top priority for his company—hence, his happiness with the performance gains of SQL Server 2005—scalability is less of an issue. "If youre looking at real-time electronic trading, youve got charts up, customers are watching stocks update in real-time," he said. "The majority of what we do is pass-through. We dont go through SQL Server for real-time updates. Only if you want to make historical requests for charts would you hit the database server. Scalability is less an issue. We wouldnt want to buy a SQL Server for every customer," though, he said.

Price is another decisive factor in the companys loyalty to SQL Server, he said—even in light of Microsofts 25-percent price increase for SQL Server Enterprise. "From the early days weve been using Microsoft technology," Holt said. Certainly Ive thought about potentially moving to evaluate IBM. Oracle is not much of an option, because its pretty costly. … In some cases, we dont have to use [the Enterprise edition of SQL Server].


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